Hi everyone. No jokes from me, but a happy picture because it always makes me smile when one of our boys comes to visit. I often forget to get their photo taken with me, as I am usually the one holding the camera, but on Tom´s last day, I remembered, and Chris took this one. He has gone home with a tan as good as mine, if not better, but I am a 'stay in the shade' sort of person most of the time. He made the most of his week, and sat out in the sun for a while each day.
Unfortunately his last weekend was disappointing weatherwise. In fact we had some very dramatic storms which caused a lot of flash floods, danger and even loss of life in Adra and Almeria to the West of us, Benidorm to the East, and Granada to the North, all within a few hours drive from us, but this time we were spared. We took the brunt of it in 2012, so I am really grateful that our friends and neighbours didn´t have to suffer again. There were distant storms rumbling around last week, and we heard that on Thursday, the flamingos at Salinas, that we had visited the day before, were killed by golf-ball size hail stones. I was really sad to hear that, but after a few days of heavy rain, I am told that more have arrived.
It really started for us on Saturday night, when the sky-grumbling at tea-time intensified, the TV went off, but fortunately not the power, and we knew we wouldn´t be going out anywhere for the evening. So Tom and I made a big jug of Sangria, that lifted our spirits while we chatted and listened to music, and enjoyed the amazing lightening show outside.
Because we rarely have heavy rain, most houses out here do not have any gutters, so when it does come down, it pours off the roof and makes a water spout at every corner. One such corner is above our fly-free porch, so we watched it coming down from the relatively dry bit at the end, which is under the porch.
Then Tom made a dash outside to turn on the pool light, so we could see the raining falling on the fly screen. At least it was 'clean rain' this time, so it washed all the dust off the screens for us!
By the next morning, the storms had played themselves out, and as we looked at videos of the flooding elsewhere, we realised how lucky we were. The sunrise on Sunday morning wasn't too promising, and Chris wasn't sure I should do the half-hour drive to church, but I decided to try it and promised to turn back if there was any sign of danger.
In fact it was clearing up as I drove, and I arrived safely. I didn't hang around for long after the service, because I could see the clouds gathering again on the hills above Albox. I stopped to take a quick photo, and one of the road I had to drive along to get home.
As you can see, the church is situated in fairly open campo land, where many of the roads are not properly surfaced, so I got home as quickly as I could. By the time we had finished our lunch, the thunder was back, and we had heavier storms, that were much closer to us. The dogs don't like thunder so they were happy to curl up inside with us, but we kept popping out to watch the lightening which was amazing. Such heavy rain is also quite exciting to watch, especially when you can watch it from a safe, dry position. It stayed quite warm, though not as hot as last month, and just before bedtime, Tom decided to take a shower under the water spout in the porch. He said he had never seen weather quite like that before!
Unfortunately for him, it lasted, with less intensity, through most of Monday as well, and Tuesday was his last day - half day really as he had to leave for the airport at mid-day. But on Tuesday I woke up to see a much more promising sunrise, so I got up to take this photo.
Isn´t that pretty? We are not particularly early risers, unless we have to get up for something special, so the dogs are used to being shut in until later, but that morning they got up as I went out to take the photo. They followed me into the yard, but I think they were still half asleep. they just flopped down at my feet and looked reproachfully at me, as much as to say, 'Why have you disturbed us at this hour?'
I thought the cloud was broken up enough to indicate a clear morning in an hour or so, and we wanted to make Tom´s last morning a bit special, so we took him down to his favourite sea-front restaurant in Mojacar, for breakfast. We parked the car on the edge of the sea and everything looked clean and sparkling.
The restaurant , Dolce Vita, has a big shaded patio at the side, and a few tables on a narrow strip of decking right on the beach.
Of course we chose to sit there, even though the waitress warned us we might get too hot. It was hot, but we enjoyed the sun shine after all the rain. We also enjoyed a lovely breakfast - toasted seeded roll with tomato, avocado and white cheese for me. The others didn't consider that to be a man's breakfast, so they had egg and bacon etc!
Some little tame sparrows joined us to collect my crumbs.
After breakfast, Tom wanted one last dip in the sea. It was 'lively' with big waves and the currents are strong along there, so we warned him not to go too far. But he had a lovely time playing in the waves.
It looked fun and I'd have loved to join him, but I am not strong enough to swim in the sea when it is like that, so I just had a paddle at the edge. Once again the water was amazingly warm.
I did laugh at Chris. He had sat himself down on a rock to take a photo of Tom in the sea, when a big wave came from nowhere and soaked his shoes.
A few minutes later the sea had receeded again, and he sat there like King Canute, just daring it to come up again!
Time was getting on so we drove home, and by the time I had got in from the car and sorted myself out, Tom was back in our pool - 'Just one last dip mum!'.
This was taken just fifteen minutes before he had to leave for the airport! So he had a quick shower while I made a cup of tea, and then we had to say 'Good-bye'. But I know he had a good time, and we had enjoyed being with him.
Not a lot has happened for the rest of the week. I have done a bit of crafting, including making a set of eight Christmas cards, but I am saving them for the next Rudolph day Challenge on 25th.
I said last week that I had a couple of photos from the garden that I would save for this week, so here they are. Earlier this year we bought a baby bottle brush tree, and we were pleased when it recently produced some small brushes. Apparently the bees were pleased too, because we had several of these around it last week. They are not the usual honey bees, but ones with longer orange bodies, and blue-tipped wings.
Also, one day last week I saw what I thought was a leaf floating in the pool, so I fished it out with the net and found it was a praying mantis that had managed to drown itself, the silly thing. It has its wings open and they were so pretty. I don't think I have ever seen their wings before.
And just this morning, while I was writing this, Chris came to tell me we had some visitors at the pool, so I went out to see. And there, under the water, was a tiny frog! We don´t usually get these in the garden, and I was afraid that the pump would drag it into the drainage system and it would drown. So, of course, I had to rescue him, and he happily hopped away. I hope he got right away before the cats saw him.
Then resting on the side of the pool, I saw this pretty red dragonfly. We get red and blue ones visiting us quite often at this time of year. They are smaller than the regular dragon flies. I think people call them darters. I think they are really lovely, and I am happy to see them darting around over the pool.
Before I went to UK I made all the cards I would need during the hottest months, when I don´t get much crafting done. One was a box card for my grandson who was nine today. His dad, our second son Mike, posted this photo of him holding it on facebook this morning. We always say that Finlay is proof that not only bad things happened on 9/11; there were some good things too, and his arrival was one of them.
Well that's it for this week. I'll leave you with a couple of scrapbook layouts that I made this week for my digi scrapbook of Ireland. One of the places we went to was a beach called Inchydoney, where Chris was taken as a child when he spent holidays with his grandmother in Clonakilty. It is a small beach at the end of a peninsula, which has Muckross Strand along one side of it, and Ring harbour on the other. So these pages are about the lovely time we spent there.
Now I just need to link up with Annie´s Friday Smiles. She won´t expect to see me yet as it is usually nearly midnight when I post, but we are going out this evening, so I have done it earlier.
I will also link with Rocking your World over at Virginia's blog. Come and join us and pick up on some more happy, positive vibes.